Brief in English


Grants Available for International Students

International students registered at the University of Helsinki are eligible for a grant awarded by the University twice a year. Grants are awarded based on academic success and must include a recommendation from a teacher or supervisor. Eligible students must have been registered for two terms and students receiving other forms of financial support are not considered. Application forms are available at the Information and Counselling Office, located on the ground floor of the Main Building, Fabianinkatu entrance. Completed applications must be submitted by Friday, October 17 3:30 p.m. to Robert Ramberg, Foreign Student Advisor, P.O. Box 3, 00014 University of Helsinki. For more information, contact Robert at tel: 191 22604 or e-mail: or stop by his office in the Information and Counselling Office.

Controversial Credits for Army Time

The recent suggestion by the Finnish Defense Forces to grant credits to incoming university students that have completed their officers training has created mixed feelings. Many question whether army training and university education should even be considered compatable. Erkki Paukkunen, Information Manager for the Armed Services in Finland, explains, ”The idea isn’t that universities would automatically credit the person with 20 credits. That is merely the size of our training package. The universities themselves will decide how many credits to grant.” The suggestion comes as the result of a change in the officers training program. A 20 credit `leadership training’ package will now be a standard part of each officer’s training.
    Pictures of a four star general screaming at his troops may come to mind when one thinks of leadership in the army, but Paukkunen assures us that the army has changed with the times, ”You can’t lead anyone these days by yelling or relying on your rank.” He feels that the service provides modern enlists with valuable leadership skills, ”We hope to make our instruction interesting and beneficial to society and prepare our young people for their studies and future employment.”

Number of Netaholics Increase Annually

”I eat a lot at a time so that I don’t have to waste time going home to do that. I sleep very little, if at all, so that I can get my work done. I’m not even trying to pretend that I’m not an addict, I can’t lie to myself anymore. This is hell – somebody give me a life!” The author is a net addict, sharing his troubles on the electronic pages of New Life Foundation (, an organization for those who have realized that they no longer have a life beyond their computer screen.
    Net addiction is an illness, just as alchoholism or gambling. Several support and counselling groups have been created to help users that feel they have a problem. ”I realized I was an addict when I awoke in the computer lab with the keyboard imprinted on my cheek,” says Joanna Ojaa, a student of computer programming. She feels that she had become dependent on the people she had met on the web, not the net itself. Real-time discussion groups and role and strategy games were favorites. She realized she had to cut back her internet time. After three years of studies, she had hardly any credits to her name. Joanna now works as a UNIX system manager and has limited her on-line time to working hours. ”I still have to be careful not to spend my free time on the network. During my coffee breaks, I read Dilbert on internet. It’s a shame because coffee is the one thing I really am addicted to.”

Easy Work + Bad Hours = Fast Money

Students need part-time work that doesn’t interfere with their lectures, but is secure and profitable. Some students have found their own solutions. Lassi Lahti is a student of the Helsinki School of Economics and Business Adminstration. He drives a taxi from 6 p.m. until 4:30 a.m. ”It is a tough job, because you have to change your rythym, but I always manage to get over the weekend nights by Monday morning.” On a good night, Lahti can earn 2,000 FIM, 700 of which he can keep. In addition to a driver’s liscense, taxi drivers are required to pass a test arranged by the police. Lassi recommends taking a preparation course before the test, ”They need drivers and the big taxi firms get theie drivers straight from the courses.”
    Techincal University student Markku Aittola makes money by being a guinea pig for medical companies. ”It’s only 24 hours of teasing every two weeks,” he says. Markku earns an average of 50 marks an hour, but sometimes the price is high. (”I’m never going to go through eye drops testing again!”) He isn’t worried about his health, the medicine firm insures and checks the health of its testers thoroughly. Saana Hiera works as a model when she is not finishing her thesis. She claims that modeling agencies in Finland vary, ”Some are for string bean model girls and others are for everyday faces like me that have no intention of going professional.” Saana says there is plenty of work for all kinds of students, paying up to 500 FIM for just a few hours. The majority of work is advertising, not modeling shows. Are photo shoots exciting? ”Usually its just a lot of waiting around for something to happen,” she says.

Cost Estimate Analysis of University Subjects

Beginning next year, university funding will be distributed among the faculties of the university based on the efficiency of the departments. Emphasis is divided between the amount of graduating undergraduates (50%) and postgraduates (15%) and research produced (35%). The higher the corresponding numbers, the better the department’s funding. For this reason, a cost estimate of the University of Helsinki’s subjects proved necessary, dividing the faculties into expense classes. The Faculty of Law is least expensive for the University, largely because students spend most of their studies with their noses in textbooks, learning the same things, meaning the need for staff is low. Other inexpensive faculties include Theology, the Social Sciences and some of the Arts and Natural Sciences. Departments in the Faculty of Arts differ greatly: history, literature and languages don’t need as many instructors as fonetics, archeology, and psychology that require additional teachers and equipment. The most expensive instruction takes place in the Faculty of Medicine, the leader being dentistry.

Pornography: Ho Hum

”Sometimes I think that I became to obsessed with fucking at too young an age. That porno has somehow made me emotionally handicapped, that I can’t be romantic anymore.” 23 year old Jaana isn’t a prostitute or a porn star, just an average university student, studying English and seeing someone seriously. From the time she was a teenager, pornography has been a part of her private sex life, in her relationships and for regular masturbation. She is open about her use of porn and not ashamed. In the last few years, however, porn has been a source of confusion for Jaana. She has found that nothing is as disposable as porn, magazines and videos need to be replaced constantly. But, more importantly for Jaana, porn has also lost its appeal. Standard porn no longer has any effect and she has found herself drifting towards harder and harder material. Sex with her boyfriend has gone stale. ”This sounds horrible, but I have even begun to fantasize about being raped.”
    Pornography seems to have lost its shock appeal for most of us. In a recent article, Yliopisto magazine editor Pekka Matilainen went so far as to pronounce pornography dead. He feels that the naked body has become so mundane to us, what with its use in advertising so overwhelming, that pornography no longer shocks us. ”In a few years, hard-core porn will be sold in filling stations, along with alchohol and cigarettes,” believes Timo Korpi, publisher of big name porn mags in Finland. ”Porn goes in waves, sometimes more free and sometimes not. We had stuff just as hard-core in the 70’s, too, anal sex and fist fucking and the like.” Korpi feels that society should accept pornography as a natural part of the prevailing culture. He is not concerned that pornography would get out of hand if it would become a natural part of our lives, like reading the morning paper. ”There are other things to do in life besides working, sleeping amd family. Porn is just one element of people’s lives. After all, each of us has only 3 or 4 hours of free time a day.”